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Review: Simms Freestone Backpack

Clever access with a clamshell top and a curved side zip to easily get what you need.

Review: Simms Freestone Backpack

$160 |

In real estate, they say there are three important considerations: location, location, location. With a fly-fishing backpack, it’s access, access, access. That’s why the old traditional fly-fishing vests proved so popular. All those little pockets make it easy to get at exactly what you need. A cavernous 30L backpack can prove challenging at times, but Simms has solved that problem by designing the Freestone Backpack with a clamshell top opening that opens wide, and a curved side zip that lets you reach right into the bottom of the pack to get what you need—even when other provisions are stacked on top.

Inside there is a large pouch big enough for a laptop, and under the lid there is a zippered mesh pocket for things like a cell phone and car keys. On the top outside there is a zippered microfleece-lined pocket that is perfect for safe storage of sunglasses. There is an extensive fly-drying field on the outside, and a large stretch-woven pocket to stuff jackets and extra fly boxes. The same stretch-woven material provides a water bottle pouch on the side opposite of the side-access zipper. (There is also an inner pouch for a hydration bladder, and an outlet for a hose.)

The Freestone Backpack has a fully cushioned shoulder harness that integrates with the Freestone Chest Pack, and a nylon webbing waist belt. Hidden in the bottom under a protective flap, you’ll find another zippered pocket with a tethered, stashable rain cover to keep your gear dry in monsoon weather.

The pack itself is made from 330-denier ripstop nylon with a polyurethane coating on the backside, and a durable water-repellent coating on the outside. While it isn’t submersible, this backpack will keep your gear dry in any kind of downpour.

$160 |

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